|Publication number||US6090335 A|
|Application number||US 09/227,461|
|Publication date||18 Jul 2000|
|Filing date||8 Jan 1999|
|Priority date||8 Jan 1999|
|Also published as||WO2000040387A1|
|Publication number||09227461, 227461, US 6090335 A, US 6090335A, US-A-6090335, US6090335 A, US6090335A|
|Inventors||Edward Norman McClure, Steven Alan Jackson, Philip J. Sweesy|
|Original Assignee||Northrop Grumman Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (63), Non-Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (48), Classifications (10), Legal Events (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates generally to fiber-reinforced resin structures, and more particularly to a process of fabricating a fiber-reinforced resin structure using a resin infusion port which is cured in place.
Vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) and related processes and techniques have been widely used to fabricate relatively large fiber-reinforced composite articles. Such articles may include coach chassis for buses and trailers and fiber glass boat hulls, for example.
In general, the VARTM process includes the distribution of dry, fiber strips, plies or mats about the surface of a female mold to form a fiber lay-up of a desired thickness. The fiber strips or plies may take the form of a cloth or sheet of fibers of glass, carbon or other suitable material. In addition, one or more rigid core layers may be included. The core layers may be formed of a solid foam material or balsa wood. The core layers may be sandwiched between the fiber plies to form a fiber/core composite lay-up or laminate.
A flexible, fluid impermeable bag or sheet is positioned atop the exposed lay-up and sealed about the periphery thereof. A relative vacuum is drawn between the mold and the bag, thereby causing the bag to compress against the fiber lay-up. A chemically catalyzed liquid resin is introduced into the evacuated bagged mold through a series of resin supply lines or conduits. A multitude of individual resin supply lines may be used so as to facilitate distributed wetting or infusion of the liquid resin about the fiber lay-up. The vacuum source and resin supply lines are strategically positioned relative to one another in a manner which encourages controlled wetting. In this respect, the vacuum source may be applied at one side of the fiber lay-up and the resin introduced at an opposing side, and thus tending to cause the resin to be pulled across and wet portions of the fiber lay-up therebetween.
Underwetting and overwetting of the fiber lay-up are particularly problematic, as such conditions may result unacceptable structural weaknesses and deficiencies of the resultant article. In addition, nonuniform resin distribution may also result unacceptable structural weaknesses and deficiencies of the resultant article.
Contemporary techniques for facilitating more uniformed or homogeneous resin distribution include the use of cloth material adjacent the fiber lay-up. The cloth forms a screen or matrix of open spaces which tends to wick the resin, and thereby facilitates resin flow. The cloth is removed or peeled away prior to the resin fully curing. Other techniques for enhancing more uniformed resin distribution focus on the resin delivery apparatus, such as specially formed resin supply conduit manifolds and manifolds which are integrated into the vacuum bag itself. While these and other techniques enhance the distribution of resin about the fiber lay-up, they each require the positioning and application of a particular type of cloth or conduit manifold or the like, each time the article is formed. In addition, specialized procedures for disposal and/or clean-up of such additional apparatus must be addressed as well. As such, use of such apparatus increases the time and skill requirements in order to fabricate a resultant article to desired quality control standards.
Where resin overwetting is detected prior to the resin curing, excess resin may be removed via skilled labor intensive steps. Where underwetting is detected in a cured lay-up, the structure may be required to undergo additional processing in the form of reinfusion of liquid resin and subsequent curing of the resin. While such labor intensive steps, including inspection tasks, may be result in a structure which conforms to desired mechanical requirements, such a process so limits the production efficiency so as to make the process economically nonfeasible.
As such, based upon the foregoing, there exists a need in the art for an improved method and device, for enhancing resin distribution in comparison to the prior art.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a process for forming a fiber-reinforced resin structure having an opening therein by vacuum bag forming. A resin infusion port is disposed adjacent a mold surface. The resin infusion port has a resin inlet and at least one resin outlet. A fiber-reinforced ply is distributed adjacent the mold surface about the resin infusion port. A flexible covering is placed over the fiber-reinforced ply and the mold surface to form a chamber therebetween. The chamber is evacuated. Resin is dispensed into the resin infusion port through the resin inlet. The resin is infused into the ply by dispensing resin into the chamber from the resin infusion port through the resin outlet. The resin is cured within the resin infusion port and within the chamber to form a cured resin structure which is subsequently removed from the mold surface. An opening is formed in the resin structure by removing the resin infusion port and a portion of the resin structure adjacent the resin infusion port.
An example of an opening being required to be formed in a fiber-reinforced resin structure is at the wheel well portion of a bus coach lower chassis for extension of a shock absorber and other structural supports or linkages therethrough. A typical method of forming such an opening is to form a fiber-reinforced resin structure in whole, and subsequently drill or cut an opening therein at the desired location. The method of the present invention for fabricating fiber-reinforced resin structures having an opening formed therein presents numerous advantages not found in the related prior art. The present method incorporates or integrates the infusion port into the structure itself, thereby facilitating direct infusion or distribution of liquid resin into and about the adjacent fiber-reinforced plies. In this respect, the present invention is particularly adapted to provide enhanced resin distribution by use of a cured in place or insitu resin infusion port. Such enhanced resin distribution tends to increase the structural integrity of the resultant fiber-reinforced resin structures. This is particularly advantageous as such locations are typically highly susceptible to the development of stress concentrations thereat. In addition, because the present method enhances resin distribution, the time and skill requirements to fabricate the resultant fiber-reinforced structure is reduced. As such, the resultant structures can be produced at rates which make the technology more economically viable.
As such, the present invention represents an advance in the art.
These, as well as other features of the present invention, will become more apparent upon reference to the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mold for use in conjunction with the process of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a enlarged perspective view of a portion of the mold of FIG. 1 shown with a bagged fiber-reinforced lay-up and resin infusion ports used in conjunction with the process of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the bagged mold and resin infusion port of the present invention
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the bagged mold of FIG. 3 shown with a resin supply hose;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the bagged mold of FIG. 4 shown with resin being infused into fiber-reinforced lay-up;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the mold of FIG. 5 shown with a resultant cured fiber-reinforced lay-up after being removed from the mold; and
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the cured fiber-reinforced lay-up after having an opening formed therein.
Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the present invention only, and not for purposes of limiting the same, FIGS. 1-7 illustrate a process for forming a fiber-reinforced resin structure having an opening therein by vacuum bag forming.
Referring now to FIG. 1, there is depicted a mold 10 which is used to fabricate fiber-reinforced resin structures. The mold 10 defines a mold cavity 12 and having a mold surface 14. The mold 10 is sized and configured to conform to the shape of desired resultant product. In this respect, the mold 10 is symbolically representative. The mold 10 is depicted to conform to the geometry of a bus lower chassis and is therefore provided with wall, floor and wheel well portions 16, 18, 20. As such, it is observed that the mold surface 14 has regions which are aligned to be horizontal, vertical and at other angular orientations. Further, it is contemplated that the mold surface 14 may have generally planar portions as well as those which or curved or irregularly shaped.
In general, referring now to FIG. 2, the VARTM process of forming fiber-reinforced resin structures typically begins with the distribution of fiber-reinforced plies 22 and core material 24 about the mold surface 14. The fiber-reinforced plies 22 take the form of a cloth or sheet of fibers of glass, carbon or other suitable materials which are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art. In addition, as further discussed below, one or more rigid core layers 24 may be included. The core layers 24 may be formed of a solid foam material, balsa wood or other suitable materials which are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art. The core layers 24 may be sandwiched between the fiber-reinforced plies 22 to form a fiber/core composite lay-up or laminate. Where the core layers 24 are not included, the fiber-reinforced plies 22 form a solid fiber or solid glass section thereat. The fiber-reinforced plies 22 and core layers 24 are applied to a desired thickness. It is contemplated that the mold 10 and mold surface 14 are of such structural integrity so as to be supportive the fiber-reinforced plies 22 and core layers 24.
The typical VARTM process further provides for a flexible, fluid impermeable bag or covering 26 is positioned atop the topmost fiber-reinforced ply 22. The periphery of the covering 26 is sealed against the mold surface 14 thereby bagging the fiber-reinforced plies 22 and core layers 24 therein. As such, a chamber 28 is formed between the covering 26 and the mold surface 14. A relative vacuum is drawn within the chamber 28 (i.e., between the mold 10 and the covering 26), thereby causing the covering 26 to compress and collapse against the fiber lay-up, according to those methods which are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art. In this respect, vacuum conduits 30 may be selectively distributed about the mold 10. The vacuum conduits 30 may be disposed through the covering 26 or at the periphery thereof and sealed therewith via vacuum manifold 32. The vacuum conduits 30 are in vacuum communication with a vacuum source 34 and supporting vacuum lines 36.
A chemically catalyzed liquid resin is pumped from a resin source 38 through a series of resin supply lines 40 which are selectively distributed about the mold 10. A multitude of individual resin supply lines 40 may be used so as to facilitate distributed wetting or infusion of the liquid resin about the fiber reinforced plies 22. The resin, resin supply lines 40 and supporting pumping apparatus are contemplated to be chosen from those which are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art. As is typical in the art, some of the resin supply lines 40 terminate at a topically-mounted resin delivery apparatus 42. The topically-mounted resin delivery apparatus 42 may be disposed through the covering 26 or at the periphery thereof and in sealed communication therewith according to those methods which are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art.
According to the method of the present invention, a resin infusion port 44 is disposed adjacent the mold surface 14. The resin infusion port 44 has an resin inlet 46 for receiving resin therethrough and at least one resin outlet 48 for dispensing resin therethrough. As is more fully discussed below, there are preferably provided multiple resin outlets 48 distributed about the resin infusion port 44. The vacuum conduits 30, the topically-mounted resin delivery apparatus 42 and the resin infusion port 44 are strategically and cooperatively positioned relative to one another in a manner which encourages controlled resin wetting. In this respect, the vacuum ports 32 may be applied at one portion of the mold 10 and the topically-mounted resin delivery apparatus 42 at another portion. The relative positioning of the vacuum ports 32 and the topically-mounted resin delivery apparatus 42 tends to cause the dispensed liquid resin to be pulled across and wet portions of the fiber-reinforced plies 22 therebetween.
As shown in FIG. 2, a resin infusion port 44a is disposed adjacent the floor portion 18 of the mold 10 and another resin infusion port 44b is disposed adjacent the wheel portion 20 of the mold 10. The fiber-reinforced plies 22 may be interleaved with one or more core layers 24 such as is depicted adjacent the floor portion 18 of the mold 10. It is also contemplated that the fiber-reinforced plies 22 may not be accompanied by any core layers 24 as may be the case adjacent the wheel well portion 20 of the mold 10. As such, the resin infusion ports 44 may be disposed adjacent fiber-reinforced plies 22 having or not having any core layers 24.
Referring now to FIG. 3, the resin infusion port 44 preferably takes the form of a cap-like structure and is generally defined by a central axis of symmetry which extends through the resin inlet 46. The resin outlets 48 are formed to extend from the central axis and radially distributed thereabout. The resin infusion port 44 is sized and configured such that central axis is disposed orthogonal to the mold surface 14. In addition, the resin outlets 48 may be variably distributed along the central axis such that the resin outlets are differentially displaced from the adjacent mold surface 14. Such variable distribution of the resin outlets 48 is contemplated to align the resin outlets adjacent different portions of the fiber/core lay-up (i.e., fiber-reinforced plies 22 and core layers 24). The variable distribution of the resin outlets 48 facilitates ease of resin distribution to selective fiber-reinforced plies 22. In this regard, referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, a resin supply line 40 is engaged with the resin inlet 46. The resin supply line 40 and resin inlet 46 are cooperatively formed to facilitate such engagement. The chamber 28 formed between the covering 26 and the mold surface 14 is evacuated. Resin 50 is pumped from the supply line 40 through the resin inlet 46 into the resin infusion port 44. The resin 50 is consequently dispensed therefrom through the resin outlets 48 and into and about the chamber 28. As such, the resin 50 is infused into the adjacent fiber-reinforced plies 22. Upon sufficient wetting or infusion of the adjacent plies 22, the pumping of the resin 50 is ceased and the resin supply line 40 is disengaged from the resin infusion port 44.
Referring now to FIG. 6, the infused fiber-reinforced plies 22 and core layer 24 are allowed to cure according to those methods which are well known to one of ordinary skill in the art. The resin infusion port 44 is thus secured in place or insitu relative to the fiber-reinforced plies 22 and core layer 24. After the plies 22 have cured, the resultant fiber-reinforced resin structure 54 is removed from the mold 10. It is contemplated that in order to facilitate ease of such removal, a gelcoat of suitable material known to those of ordinary skill in the art may be applied to the mold 10. Upon removal the cured fiber-reinforced structure 54 from the mold 10, an opening 52 is formed therein by cutting or otherwise machining that portion of the fiber-reinforced structure 54 surrounding the insitu resin infusion port 44, as depicted in FIG. 7. Subsequently, it is contemplated that the resin infusion port 10 may be simply discarded as waste material. As such the resin infusion port 44 may be formed of a relatively inexpensive molded plastic material. It is contemplated, however, the resin infusion port 44 may be cleaned of cured resin 50 and any remaining fragments of the fiber-reinforcement plies 22 and/or core layer 24 for later reuse.
Additional modifications and improvements of the present invention may also be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. Thus, the particular combination of parts described and illustrated herein is intended to represent only one embodiment of the present invention, and is not intended to serve as limitations of alternative devices within the spirit and scope of the invention.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2913036 *||10 Aug 1956||17 Nov 1959||Anthony Bros Fibre Glass Pool||Process and apparatus for molding large plastic structures|
|US3146148 *||8 Nov 1957||25 Aug 1964||Gen Dynamics Corp||Apparatus for fabricating composite structures|
|US3861977 *||21 Nov 1972||21 Jan 1975||Rudkin Wiley Corp||Process for vacuum bag molding|
|US4132755 *||5 May 1978||2 Jan 1979||Jay Johnson||Process for manufacturing resin-impregnated, reinforced articles without the presence of resin fumes|
|US4280804 *||1 Oct 1979||28 Jul 1981||General Dynamics||Vacuum curing tool for composite materials|
|US4312829 *||10 Dec 1979||26 Jan 1982||Fourcher Fredric J||Molding method|
|US4359437 *||10 Mar 1981||16 Nov 1982||Le Comte-Holland B.V.||Method and apparatus for producing a thin-walled article of synthetic resin, in particular a large-sized article|
|US4560523 *||30 Apr 1984||24 Dec 1985||A&M Engineered Composites Corporation||Intrusion molding process for forming composite structures|
|US4676041 *||19 Nov 1985||30 Jun 1987||Warminster Fiberglass Co.||Corrosion-resistant door and its method of manufacture|
|US4780262 *||17 Feb 1987||25 Oct 1988||The Boeing Company||Method for making composite structures|
|US4810444 *||8 Jun 1987||7 Mar 1989||The Dow Chemical Company||Method for making mat-molded rim parts|
|US4816106 *||28 Oct 1986||28 Mar 1989||Aeritalia Saipa - Gruppo Velivoli Da Trasporto||Method for the controlled curing of composites|
|US4824017 *||31 Jul 1987||25 Apr 1989||Glas-Craft, Inc.||External mix spraying system|
|US4854504 *||5 Oct 1987||8 Aug 1989||Graves Spray Supply Co., Inc.||Fiberglass spray nozzle|
|US4891176 *||31 May 1988||2 Jan 1990||Auto-Fab, Inc.||Resin transfer molding process|
|US4902215 *||30 Mar 1989||20 Feb 1990||Seemann Iii William H||Plastic transfer molding techniques for the production of fiber reinforced plastic structures|
|US4942013 *||27 Mar 1989||17 Jul 1990||Mcdonnell Douglas Corporation||Vacuum resin impregnation process|
|US4952358 *||2 May 1989||28 Aug 1990||Inoue Mtp Kabushiki Kaisha||Method of manufacturing an interior member for vehicles|
|US5000990 *||14 Oct 1988||19 Mar 1991||The Budd Company||One piece molded composite part and method of manufacture|
|US5009821 *||23 Feb 1989||23 Apr 1991||Libbey-Owens-Ford Co.||Molding method for eliminating fiber readout|
|US5035602 *||14 May 1990||30 Jul 1991||Ford Motor Company||Resin transfer molding core and preform|
|US5041260 *||30 Oct 1989||20 Aug 1991||Ford Motor Company||Resin transfer molding method|
|US5045251 *||14 May 1990||3 Sep 1991||Ford Motor Company||Method of resin transfer molding a composite article|
|US5052906 *||21 Dec 1989||1 Oct 1991||Seemann Composite Systems, Inc.||Plastic transfer molding apparatus for the production of fiber reinforced plastic structures|
|US5096651 *||23 May 1990||17 Mar 1992||Le Comte Adolf||Method for manufacturing an object of synthetic resin|
|US5132069 *||9 Jan 1990||21 Jul 1992||Newton John R||Method of injection molding composite articles|
|US5141690 *||22 Jan 1991||25 Aug 1992||The British Petroleum Company P.L.C.||Method for manufacturing composite material|
|US5169571 *||16 Apr 1991||8 Dec 1992||The C.A. Lawton Company||Mat forming process and apparatus|
|US5183619 *||9 May 1991||2 Feb 1993||Tolton Robert J||Process for forming fiberglass articles|
|US5215322 *||10 Dec 1991||1 Jun 1993||Enders Mark L||Dual and single seat composite bicycle frames and fabrication methods therefore|
|US5242651 *||25 Jul 1990||7 Sep 1993||Vought Aircraft Company||Pressure balanced processing of composite structures|
|US5266139 *||2 Oct 1992||30 Nov 1993||General Dynamics Corporation, Space Systems Division||Continuous processing/in-situ curing of incrementally applied resin matrix composite materials|
|US5275372 *||21 Jul 1992||4 Jan 1994||Cook Composites & Polymers Co.||Molding resins and UV-transparent molds made from the resins|
|US5281388 *||20 Mar 1992||25 Jan 1994||Mcdonnell Douglas Corporation||Resin impregnation process for producing a resin-fiber composite|
|US5298212 *||18 Mar 1992||29 Mar 1994||Surface Technologies, Inc.||Method for forming a laminated substrate|
|US5316462 *||18 Feb 1993||31 May 1994||William Seemann||Unitary vacuum bag for forming fiber reinforced composite articles|
|US5322665 *||13 Jul 1992||21 Jun 1994||The Charles Stark Draper Laboratories, Inc.||Disposable self contained cartridge or resin transfer molding and resin transfer molding method|
|US5388768 *||20 Sep 1993||14 Feb 1995||American Matrix Technologies, Inc.||Spray gun with a catalyst injector and a manifold block|
|US5403537 *||14 Sep 1993||4 Apr 1995||Martin Marietta Corporation||Method for forming composite structures|
|US5407610 *||22 Jul 1993||18 Apr 1995||Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha||Method for molding fiber-reinforced resin|
|US5417899 *||19 Jan 1994||23 May 1995||Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd.||Injection compression molding method for compact discs or the like|
|US5432010 *||23 Sep 1994||11 Jul 1995||Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company||Binder resin for resin transfer molding preforms, preforms made therewith, and a method for preparing such preforms|
|US5439635 *||27 May 1994||8 Aug 1995||Scrimp Systems, Llc||Unitary vacuum bag for forming fiber reinforced composite articles and process for making same|
|US5480603 *||19 May 1994||2 Jan 1996||The Dow Chemical Company||Method for preparing preforms for molding processes|
|US5484277 *||26 Dec 1989||16 Jan 1996||Mcdonnell Douglas Corporation||Mandreless molding system|
|US5500164 *||2 May 1994||19 Mar 1996||Synergistic Composite Systems Inc.||Method and apparatus for producing large fiber reinforced structures|
|US5516271 *||14 Dec 1993||14 May 1996||United Technologies Corporation||Apparatus for resin transfer molding|
|US5527414 *||18 May 1994||18 Jun 1996||United Technologies Corporation||Method for high pressure co-cure molding of lightweight honeycomb core composite articles having ramped surfaces utilizing low density, stabilized ramped honeycomb cores|
|US5540497 *||15 May 1995||30 Jul 1996||Centro Sviluppo Settori Impiego S.R.L.||Apparatus for the injection molding of non precatalyzed polymerizable resins at high-pressure and flow|
|US5549246 *||19 Jan 1995||27 Aug 1996||Glas-Craft, Inc.||External mix application system and nozzle assembly|
|US5576030 *||2 Oct 1995||19 Nov 1996||Lockheed Corporation||Apparatus for fabricating composite parts|
|US5588392 *||18 Apr 1995||31 Dec 1996||Outboard Marine Corporation||Resin transfer molding process|
|US5639027 *||8 Dec 1994||17 Jun 1997||Ransburg Corporation||Two component external mix spray gun|
|US5641525 *||11 Sep 1995||24 Jun 1997||Outboard Marine Corporation||Resin transfer molding apparatus|
|US5665301 *||11 Jul 1995||9 Sep 1997||Arctek Inc.||Apparatus and method for forming fiber reinforced composite articles|
|US5678591 *||20 May 1996||21 Oct 1997||Itw Limited||Two-components pressure feed system|
|US5702663 *||31 May 1996||30 Dec 1997||Scrimp Systems, Llc||Vacuum bag for forming fiber reinforced composite articles and method for using same|
|US5721034 *||2 Aug 1996||24 Feb 1998||Scrimp Systems, L.L.C.||Large composite structures incorporating a resin distribution network|
|US5733494 *||30 Dec 1996||31 Mar 1998||Apx International||Methods of making preforms for resin transfer molding|
|US5741450 *||16 Jan 1996||21 Apr 1998||Hudson Products Corporation||Method of and apparatus for molding a hollow fan blade|
|US5885513 *||31 Mar 1997||23 Mar 1999||Northrop Grumman Corporation||Resin infusion method|
|US5919327 *||30 Jun 1995||6 Jul 1999||Insituform (Netherlands) B.V.||Method and apparatus for sealed end for cured in place pipe liners|
|US5939013 *||25 Aug 1997||17 Aug 1999||Florida State University||Process and apparatus for the production of high strength polymer composite structures|
|1||*||Abstract: E. Mcclure Notes: Recirculation Molding Feb. 24, 1998.|
|2||Abstract: E. Mcclure Notes:Recirculation Molding Feb. 24, 1998.|
|3||*||Article: Gerry Kobe Chrysler Molds The Future Manufacturing pp. 58 60 Nov. 1997.|
|4||Article: Gerry Kobe Chrysler Molds The Future Manufacturing pp. 58-60 Nov. 1997.|
|5||*||Article: Scott M. Lewit and John C. Jakabowski, Structural Composites, Inc. and Navy CECMT Marine Composites Technology Center Recireulation Molding Recent Advances in Applications and Equipment pp. 1 22.|
|6||Article: Scott M. Lewit and John C. Jakabowski, Structural Composites, Inc. and Navy CECMT Marine Composites Technology Center Recireulation Molding-Recent Advances in Applications and Equipment pp. 1-22.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US6406660 *||7 Feb 2000||18 Jun 2002||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Army||Method for producing polymer matrix composites having low volume percentage of reinforcement fiber and controlled thickness|
|US6964561 *||22 Apr 2003||15 Nov 2005||V System Composites, Inc.||High-performance infusion system for VARTM fabrication|
|US7252727||2 Jun 2004||7 Aug 2007||Deturris Stephan||Repair system and method for fiberglass boats|
|US7413694 *||7 Dec 2000||19 Aug 2008||The Boeing Company||Double bag vacuum infusion process|
|US7544055||30 Oct 2003||9 Jun 2009||Brunswick Corporation||Method of resin transfer molding and components for use therewith|
|US7744019||27 Sep 2006||29 Jun 2010||Alphagen Materials Technology, Inc.||Spray gun|
|US7758800||22 Dec 2005||20 Jul 2010||Comtek Advanced Structures Limited||System and method for resin infusion|
|US8066503 *||25 Oct 2005||29 Nov 2011||The Boeing Company||Controlled delta pressure bulk resin infusion system|
|US8327738||7 Nov 2003||11 Dec 2012||Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation||Composite transmission housing with discontinuous fiber preforms|
|US8333864 *||30 Sep 2008||18 Dec 2012||The Boeing Company||Compaction of prepreg plies on composite laminate structures|
|US8356989||4 Mar 2008||22 Jan 2013||The Boeing Company||Double bag vacuum infusion process and system for low cost, advanced composite fabrication|
|US8505361||18 Oct 2010||13 Aug 2013||The Boeing Company||Leak detection in vacuum bags|
|US8551380||12 Nov 2010||8 Oct 2013||The Boeing Company||Method of laying up prepreg plies on contoured tools using a deformable carrier film|
|US8568551||22 May 2007||29 Oct 2013||The Boeing Company||Pre-patterned layup kit and method of manufacture|
|US8613252 *||14 Feb 2011||24 Dec 2013||Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation||Co-curing reusable elastomeric caul plate|
|US8613301||22 Oct 2012||24 Dec 2013||The Boeing Company||Compaction of prepreg plies on composite laminate structures|
|US8707766||21 Apr 2010||29 Apr 2014||The Boeing Company||Leak detection in vacuum bags|
|US8752293||28 Aug 2008||17 Jun 2014||The Boeing Company||Method of fabricating structures using composite modules and structures made thereby|
|US8784092 *||23 Sep 2008||22 Jul 2014||Airbus Operations Sas||Device for the production of a composite material part integrating a drainage system|
|US8851879||24 May 2012||7 Oct 2014||The Boeing Company||Double bag vacuum infusion process and system for low cost, advanced composite fabrication|
|US8916010||7 Dec 2007||23 Dec 2014||The Boeing Company||Composite manufacturing method|
|US8936695||27 Apr 2010||20 Jan 2015||The Boeing Company||Method for forming and applying composite layups having complex geometries|
|US9046437||13 May 2013||2 Jun 2015||The Boeing Company||Leak detection in vacuum bags|
|US9387657||7 Jan 2013||12 Jul 2016||The Boeing Company||Method of fabricating a curved composite structure using composite prepreg tape|
|US9500593||18 Mar 2014||22 Nov 2016||The Boeing Company||Leak detection in vacuum bags|
|US20030133930 *||24 Jan 2003||17 Jul 2003||Immunomedics, Inc.||Immunotherapy of autoimmune disorders using antibodies which target B-cells|
|US20030211194 *||22 Apr 2003||13 Nov 2003||Michael Louderback||High-performance infusion system for VARTM fabrication|
|US20040089984 *||30 Oct 2003||13 May 2004||Brunswick Corporation||Method of resintransfer molding and components for use therewith|
|US20050097984 *||7 Nov 2003||12 May 2005||Davis Geoffrey C.R.||Composite transmission housing with discontinuous fiber preforms|
|US20050271800 *||2 Jun 2004||8 Dec 2005||Deturris Stephan||Repair system and method for fiberglass boats|
|US20070090562 *||25 Oct 2005||26 Apr 2007||Hawkins Robert D||Controlled delta pressure bulk resin infusion system apparatus and method|
|US20070108646 *||15 Nov 2005||17 May 2007||Louderback Michael J||Method of fabricating a composite structure with details|
|US20070145622 *||22 Dec 2005||28 Jun 2007||Comtek Advanced Structures Limited||System and method for resin infusion|
|US20070256599 *||15 Dec 2006||8 Nov 2007||Jack Rigsby||Inorganic Composite Material And Manufacturing Process|
|US20070261329 *||15 Dec 2006||15 Nov 2007||Jack Rigsby||Inorganic Composite Building Panel|
|US20080029017 *||4 Aug 2007||7 Feb 2008||Deturris Stephan||Preventive maintenance system and method for fiberglass boats|
|US20080220112 *||4 Mar 2008||11 Sep 2008||The Boeing Company||Double bag vacuum infusion process and system for low cost, advanced composite fabrication|
|US20090008477 *||27 Sep 2006||8 Jan 2009||Alphagen Materials Technology, Inc.||Spray gun|
|US20090145545 *||7 Dec 2007||11 Jun 2009||The Boeing Company||Composite Manufacturing Method|
|US20090148647 *||28 Aug 2008||11 Jun 2009||The Boeing Company||Method of Fabricating Structures Using Composite Modules and Structures Made Thereby|
|US20100012260 *||22 May 2007||21 Jan 2010||Brennan Joseph D||Pre-patterned layup kit and method of manufacture|
|US20100078126 *||30 Sep 2008||1 Apr 2010||The Boeing Company||Compaction of Prepreg Plies on Composite Laminate Structures|
|US20100186893 *||29 Jan 2009||29 Jul 2010||Lockheed Martin Corporation||System, method and apparatus for fabricating composite structures|
|US20100260884 *||23 Sep 2008||14 Oct 2010||Airbus Operations Sas||Device for the production of a composite material part integrating a drainage system|
|US20110079174 *||18 Oct 2010||7 Apr 2011||The Boeing Company||Leak Detection in Vacuum Bags|
|US20120204741 *||14 Feb 2011||16 Aug 2012||Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation||Co-curing reusable elastomeric caul plate|
|US20150014883 *||15 Feb 2013||15 Jan 2015||Toray Industries, Inc.||Method of manufacturing fiber-reinforced resin|
|EP1235672B1 *||7 Dec 2000||2 Mar 2005||The Boeing Company||Double bag vacuum infusion process for manufacturing a composite and composite obtained thereby|
|U.S. Classification||264/510, 264/154, 264/257|
|International Classification||B29C70/44, B29C70/54|
|Cooperative Classification||B29C2043/3644, B29C70/443, B29C70/547|
|European Classification||B29C70/54E2, B29C70/44A|
|8 Jan 1999||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MCCLURE, EDWARD NORMAN;JACKSON, STEVEN ALAN;SWEESY, PHILIP J.;REEL/FRAME:009701/0613
Effective date: 19981221
|19 Jan 2004||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|10 Jan 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|7 Jan 2011||AS||Assignment|
Effective date: 20110104
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:025597/0505
Owner name: NORTHROP GRUMMAN SYSTEMS CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
|27 Feb 2012||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|17 Apr 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|17 Apr 2012||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 11